View Full Version : Pricing

03-01-2004, 07:46 PM
I have a bid to do on a residential piece. It is going to take approx. 60 yards of mulch. The owner wants to purchase the mulch and have it delivered and then I would come over and spread it. Most of it will go into large beds without a lot of plants. I can use a small lawn tractor with a trailer to haul it from the pile to the beds. Any ideas on how to price this?????????

03-01-2004, 08:14 PM
Moving mulch that way will be time consuming. I would estimate about 1 hour per yard to spread it times your hourly rate. If there is any bed prep. or edging add that too.

03-01-2004, 10:26 PM
for the labor I'd start at $35/hr/man. If equipment is being used factor that in also.

03-01-2004, 10:30 PM
Wow, your gonna be tired of mulch if your moving it all by yourself. I suggest getting some people to help you and pay them accordingly.

03-01-2004, 10:46 PM
If I were going to do it I would used two double wheelbarrows and pick up 2 mexicans and pay them $6 per hour 60 X $35 = $2100 2 ten hour days 20 X 2 X 6 = $240 and you are left with $1860 for 2 days work. Thats what I'd do.

03-01-2004, 11:02 PM
I don't think it takes an hour to spread 1 yard. A yard is only 1 bucket, from a front in loader. I think you could do 4 yards per hour with 2 guys. One year working on a golf course we mulched every bed on the course.......took all winter.

Anyway, You could use wheelbarrels or a small bobcat to move mulch around, then hard racks and pitch forks to spread.

I bet you can knock this out in 20 hours for $1,500-$2,000

03-02-2004, 12:10 AM
THANKS!!!! 'Ya'll's ideas are really helping. I just started in this business and I'm kinda learning by trial and error. My first job so far was 40 yards of mulch. I had to haul it myself (1/2 ton p/u and small trailer) and spread it. I priced it at mulch cost X 2 for total job price. It came to $1500 ( 750 for the mulch and 750 for the labor). I learned a lot off that one!! I think I cut myself a little short on that deal.

03-02-2004, 12:20 AM
mow2nd .
u wanna do all my mulch jobs? Do your homework a yard is not one bucket. It takes about 2 hepping 72" buckets. 60 yards is almost a semi load. With wheelbarrels you are looking at about 4-5 days.

03-02-2004, 12:40 AM
I hope I figured the yards right. I used the square footage divided by 100 post I saw earlier. The customer said that the last time he bought mulch, it took 2 large dump truck loads. He didn't say if they were tandems or not.

03-02-2004, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by JKOOPERS
mow2nd .
u wanna do all my mulch jobs? Do your homework a yard is not one bucket. It takes about 2 hepping 72" buckets. 60 yards is almost a semi load. With wheelbarrels you are looking at about 4-5 days.

Thats a pretty small bucket you are using. Around here the bark places use a loader with a 2 yard bucket at least.

03-02-2004, 08:09 AM
Maybe it's different in other areas............I dont do mulch, I just guessing. Here we do Pine Needles. I got a few yards of mulch once and the guy told me each bucket load was a yard.

Maybe I got screwed, I dont' know, but again we dont do mulch

03-02-2004, 08:22 AM
Explain to your client that there will be a substantially higher labor cost this way compared to the other way. Unless you want to get paid for the extra labor.

03-02-2004, 08:46 AM
I have found a good rule of thumb is $50/yd. and I provide the mulch. This figures out to around $35/yd labor which is the figure I would use to price your job.

03-02-2004, 09:05 AM
I did a mulch job saturday, I spread 2 yards in an hour. one scoop from a bobcat is a yard, which is alot. I had to stop and get more. $35/yd is a good price, plus the cost of mulch.Here I can get red mulch for 20.35 yd. with discount,without it is 25.23 yd.

03-02-2004, 06:07 PM
So, if I understand most of you correctly, a "yard" of mulch is NOT equal to a front-end loader scoop? Ok. Then where did the guy come up with sq. ft. divided by 100 to get the amount of "yards" one would need? I called my local distirbutor and gave them the square footage and depth and they came up with 37 yards needed. It's almost 6k sq. ft of area.

03-02-2004, 06:17 PM
i'd charge $40/yd to spread it if its a short distance from the dump area. even more if i'm going to be trekkin it across the property.

MN Wildwood
03-02-2004, 07:17 PM
I do many mulching jobs every year and the average time it has come to take us, having to use wheel barrows and push everything, occationally using a tractor or atv with a small trailer, it takes anywhere from 1.25-1.75 hrs/yard of mulch. This includes load time, moving it to the bed, dropping it and then spreading it out to a depth around 2-3 inches depending on plants, etc. I would price it out someplace between $3150-$3600 depending on equipment and distance from drop site.

03-02-2004, 09:06 PM

I'm assuming when everyone here refers to yard they mean a cubic yard. A cubic yard (1 yard = 3 feet) is a volume measure 3 feet high by 3 feet wide by 3 feet long...27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard.

When you are buying bulk mulch its good to know what the vendor is delivering it in. In other words, what size bucket on the loader (assuming that's how they do it). So, a 72 inch bucket converts to 6 feet. So, if the bucket is about 2 feet deep by 2 feet high then that equates to a volume/capacity of 24 cubic feet (6x2x2). So yes, the gentlemen who said that a 72" bucket is not a cubic yard is correct. It is 3 cubic feet short of a cubic yard.

However, usually (at least where I go) they are HEAPING buckets of mulch in an 8' bucket. Also, they usually go heaping (especially if you tip the loader beforehand a few dollars). Therefore, my "bucket" is over a cubic yard or just at a cubic yard.

FYI, I have the two wheeled wheel barrels that are 8 cubic feet (I'm pretty sure of the number, I could be off). So three level loads in the wheel barrel would be three cubic feet short of a cubic yard, assuming every load is completely level. So, this will give you an idea of what you are actually delivering to your client.

03-02-2004, 09:43 PM
Wow! Today I put down 3 yards of mulch in 1.75 hours and charged $210.00 ($70.00) per yard, no edging, pruining, clean-up, etc., so I guess $2000 - $2400 I would do it.

03-02-2004, 11:49 PM
we charge $90 per yd. more for colored or high-quality, whatever the price differential at the mulch-yard is.

we use the divide by 100 method.

if the customer supplies the mulch, we only remove the cost of the mulch from the 90 per, usually 15$.

we have no problems with this.

btw, i am good at mulching, although i reside in the office these days. however, last year i conducted a test of myself, remember, very skilled, for application rate. for bed and edge prep (step-edger) including removal of debris to truck, wheel-barrow from trailer, and installation, it took me 1 hour to install a cubic yard by myself. that does not include time at the landfill, or blowing and raking spilled mulch from grass near edges and from under truck.

so, i figure about 1.25 labor hours per yard. given the price we charge, that is a pretty high labor rate for us. but you have to admit, it is some of the hardest work we lco's do. like i said, we have no problem selling the jobs. we have heard that we are a little high occasionally, twice already this season, but we haven't been turned down yet, and if we are, oh well. it is what it is. i can absolutely tell the customer that when we are done, they look spectacular. our existing clients know that already, so our schedule is full, and we don't really have to worry much about someone rejecting our estimate/proposal because we're too high.

another btw, starting this season, i now always throw the 'now is a good time to fertilize your bushes and trees, before there is 3 additional inches of mulch for it to go through in getting to the roots'. this is working great, at least a 50% success rate.

03-03-2004, 01:57 AM
Do you know anyone with a bark blower. I have an associate that does and he charges 25 a yd to install it. You can install 5 yrds in an hour. Thats 6 hours give or take and at 60.00 a yrd installed thats 35.00 in your opcket per yrd..Also you have very little labor eccept to help load the hopper...

03-03-2004, 01:59 AM
I made a mistake I was thinking 30 yrds..Ok so 10 hours give or take..